SUMATRA: Anti poaching in Indonesia, authorities jailed an Indonesian orangutan trader after caught trying to sell a baby ape inside his backpack.
The poacher has been jailed for two years because of a rare conviction for wildlife in the country, according to Indonesian authorities.
According to the local resource conservation office, monitoring wildlife crime in the area, authorities detained him in February in North Sumatra province with the critically endangered orangutan in his bag.
The Sumatran court ordered Vast Haris Nasution to pay a 10 million rupiah fine after found guilty last week under laws that ban the trade in orangutans.
Five years in jail and a 100 million rupiah fine is sentenced to illegal traders of orangutans, according to Indonesian law.
“I hope the sentence can be a deterrent and that other courts across Indonesia follow suit to punish traders as harshly as possible,” John Kenedie, anti poaching conservation office head said.
The baby ape rescued is being cared for by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme and will eventually be returned to the wild.She has been named “Cita Ria”, in Indonesia it means “happy feeling”.
Since the early 1970s there had been more than 3,000 confiscations of illegal pet orangutans in Sumatra and Borneo but only a handful of prosecutions, and all of them in the past few year, Ian Singleton, director of the SOCP, praised this sentence.
“Effective law enforcement and the threat of serious consequences for anti poaching, those involved is an essential component of the conservation arsenal if there is to be any hope of preventing the extinction of orangutans, and many other heavily traded and persecuted species here,” he said.
Poaching in Indonesia activists said it was only a small step with wildlife crime and trafficking still rampant, Singleton warned there would be very few orangutans left in the wild in 15 years.
The number of Sumatran Orangutans are decreasing. There are estimated to be only 6,000 to 7,000 remaining in the wild. Poaching and deforestation are causing hundreds of orangutans to die everyday.
Indonesia’s rain forest once covered 84% of the countries 17,508 islands, providing a safe haven for thousands of different species.
“At the turn of the 20th century, 170 million hectares of dense primary rainforest covered the archipelago but in present day, there are less than 98 million hectares remaining.” Image credit OnegreenPlanet.Org